SAN FRANCISCO — “We have some special things in store this evening,” Warpaint‘s Jenny Lee Lindberg said as she and her bandmate Theresa Wayman took the stage at Bottom of the Hill Tuesday night.
The two musicians dug into each of their solo projects, Jennlyee and TT, as well as covering their better-known Warpaint material, chatting with the crowd and their bandmates as they played.
The first part of the set featured songs by Wayman, also known as TT, such as “Safe” and “I’ve Been Fine.” The songs were spacious and stripped-down compared to their studio counterparts, but provided an ethereal and atmospheric ambiance that reverberated throughout the small club. Lindberg was on stage to provide backing vocals.
After a handful of songs, the spotlight shifted over to Lindberg, who played material from her 2016 solo release. Wayman took a seat at the side of the stage to watch and sing along as her friend played through her portion of the set. The two ladies shared the same backing band.
Lindberg, brought a dark brooding vibe to her set, although her songs were also danceable. Tunes like “Boom Boom” provided a firm rhythmic backbone to which the packed crowd could get moving.
Fans yelled “happy birthday” to Warpaint’s Stella Mozgawa, who wasn’t in attendance but the band rolled with it and jokingly sang a passage from Stevie Wonder’s “Happy Birthday.” Lindberg ended her part of the set with “Riot,” a song that packed a bigger punch than it does on record. In the closing moments, she dropped to her knees and unleashed a mighty scream.
Following a break, Wayman and Lindberg returned together to play a mix of covers like Fugazi’s “I’m So Tired” and Warpaint’s “Love is to Die.”
“Does your bass have a name?” Wayman jokingly asked after she took over the bass playing duties.
The group closed out their set with Warpaint’s “So Good.”
Angelenos Kills Birds provided a shot of adrenaline midway through the evening with a set heavy on punk rock ferocity in their San Francisco debut. Vocalist Non Ljeti brought a manic energy and seemed to be on the hunt, leaning over the front of crowd gathered against the stage.
The band’s sound flowed through the rhythmic power and low end presence of bassist Felder Thomas and drummer Bosh Rothman, with guitarist Jacob Loeb supplementing it with fierce riffs and atmospheric solos. Ljeti kept the banter to a minimum, focusing more on keeping the momentum rolling.
Playing tracks like “Worthy Girl,” “Ow” and “High,” the band mixed intensity and dynamics that fueled its tight and compact—but still highly compelling—set.
The Bay Area’s Sour Widows opened the show. Fronted by a dual vocal and guitar attack of Maia Sinaiko and Susanna Thomson, the band brought a dynamic and eclectic set that verged from quiet to loud with a similar dramatic intensity. The band was a little big prog, a little bit grunge and a little bit Americana, all weaved together.
“Welcome to the DNC debate,” Thomson joked early on, referencing the other big event happening Tuesday night.
“Be careful what you say,” Sinaiko quipped back as the band members referenced their affinity for Sen. Bernie Sanders, which the packed Bottom of the Hill venue crowd obliged.
Sour Widows’ songs often developed into full-blown indie rockers from their forthcoming EP as well as some unreleased tracks.